Eighth Chapter WIP for 'Invisible Enemy'
Continuation from Chapter 7.
Everything written is subject to change, even the names. Also may be some continuity or plot changes from the previous chapter. Feel free to comment here or on Facebook.
HFSS Sword of Damocles
Reed thought for a moment he’d gone blind, but it was the shift to N-Space coupled with high G acceleration. The acceleration eased for the moment as the pilot throttle back. Reed wiped his brow and checked his sensors. Some were red, meaning they were damaged or left behind in the shift to N-Space. Lack of ship discipline in the fight.
“Sensors, conn, tachyon track,” Kenga said, knocking Reed out of his reverie over the ship. He switched over to the tachyon display.
“Conn, sensors, tachyon stream has left the corvette. Detecting two streams now.” There was a burst of static on the display on the bearing of the corvette. “Explosion first torpedo. Battle damage assess—”
“Focus on that second tachyon stream,” Kenga said, turning to the pilot. “Hard left rudder, full declination.”
“Aye, aye, sir,” the pilot responded and the ship dove and turned.
“A new weapon?” Reed asked.
“It’s possible they’ve perfected something more deadly than our N-Space decoy,” Kenga said.
“Tachyon stream growing. Contact closing at high speed,” Sensors reported. “Altering course to track onto us.”
“How?” Reed asked. There were few things that could navigate N-Space.
“The Confederation wouldn’t abandon one of their shipyards without leaving dogs with teeth,” Kenga said. “Pilot hold the turn, flank speed!”
The crash couch compensated as they tried to speed away from the torpedo.
“Standby tachyon pulse generator,” Kenga ordered weapons.
“Two second delay abeam of own ship.”
“Shooting,” Weps said. The ship systems dimmed to near black as the pulse generator built and fired decoy bursts.
“Up shift in tachyon! Device has entered N-Space!”
“Shifting to real space!” Kenga announced on the PA. “Standby for impact!”
She shifted the ship, and the world brightened to normality. Alarms blared and buzzed around them.
“Incoming!” Sensors had enough time to announce. The ship bucked as the close in weapon systems activated and the whir of the weapon ring cause the ship to counter the roll.
“Firing… Firing… Firing…” the automated weapons system continued to announce, droning above the alarms the flashed everywhere.
Proximity alarms blared. Reed felt the ship buck and spin as something slapped it like a toy. The ships own automated systems compensated to keep its crew from blacking out.
“Shut off those damn alarms!” Kenga snapped to Reed and stabbed the comm panel. “Weapons, report!”
“Real space torpedo destroyed starboard side. Damage to two close in weapon systems from debris. Weapon ring inoperative though weapons are functional.”
Reed reviewed the damage and silenced the alarms.
“No hull breaches detected. Some damage to outer hull near weapons ring. Gravitic is offline, but engineering is working. Should we get the secondary drive online?”
“No. That would give away we’re still operating,” Kenga replied. “Pilot, slow our spin to zero gravity. Let’s deal with this while the main is brought back online.” She turned to Reed. “You need to learn your tactical panels, XO. We can’t have every alarm on the ship sounding during battle. Review your tactical settings next time.”
Reed ground his teeth. The nerve… he looked around the control room. The rest of the bridge crew were looking at him. He stared down Kenga, who looked ashen and her hair was damp against her forehead. “Yes, sir.”
“Since you’re too busy doing that, I’ll get to the ring and see what to do about our weapons system. See if you can manage a normal torpedo load out for Tubes One and Two.” Kenga unstrapped from her crash couch and strode forward and climbed to the weapons ring.
Reed sat alone, looking at the mess of his tactical display. It was still rigging for N-Space operation. Looking back, he knew he should’ve set it for combat conditions, but hadn’t thought of it. They were only in N-Space for the moment. He looked up at the shedding counter. By the looks of it, they wouldn’t be shifting for a few hours.
“Medical personnel to ring deck,” Gunnar’s voice announced on the PA circuit. Someone was injured. Reed unbuckled and stumbled to the ladder. The ships gravity was a Coriolis and not vertical. He climbed up the ladder. Halfway to the weapons ring, a body lay on the half slumped against the ladder. The captain’s insignia was on the sleeve of the dangling arm.